Rape or extortion?: The message

2013-07-28 14:00

A dossier of text messages compiled by Cosatu General-Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi shows his rape accuser’s initial concerns about the sex they had in the federation’s offices.

In the first SMS the woman sent to Vavi that day, January 25, she says: “That was not consensual...” It was followed by another in which she said: “Now I am starting to feel that you hired me, merely based on my looks, I am not OK. But I’ll be fine.

I am sorry if I gave you ideas.” Vavi then responded with a single line. “You are so wrong.”

Vavi said he was denying her claim that there had been no consent and that she had been hired for her looks.

She then sent him a message saying she was worried and Vavi should assure her that there was nothing to worry about.

This, Vavi said, he understood to mean that she shouldn’t have to worry about HIV infection.

“I called her and assured her that she had no reason to worry about HIV infection from me, as I had been taking regular tests. We agreed she should go for the test the coming week,” said Vavi in his response to her sexual harassment grievance.

The SMSes that followed were work related. In some they shared jokes.

In one, she thanked him for his advice on her marriage.

But on June 11, she sent an SMS about a recording of a conversation between them which worried her.

“My husband found the tape sent to me and how these sick people are trying to use me to bring you down. I do not want part of this. I now have to raise my children alone,” she wrote. She then asked Vavi to assure her that he would protect her and said she no longer wanted to work at Cosatu.

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